Diagnosing pulpal conditions is a process that can often differ from practice to practice. Many diagnostic classification systems have been proposed in the past and, as a result, there is a flood of them within the dental industry. The problem with having a variety of these systems is that differing language and techniques can lead to incorrect diagnoses, furthermore, leading to improper or unnecessary treatment. That’s why the AAE has been working with dentists and endodontists nationwide to create a standardized diagnostic process including a universal language. This project began in 2008 and has already led to a lower percentage of misdiagnoses. Professional Endodontics makes it a priority to keep up with the AAE’s efforts and apply these standardized processes to our own practice.
Breakdown of Standardized Diagnostic Procedure
In addition to creating a universal language used for diagnosing patients, the AAE has made an effort to develop a standard of procedure to follow so that the process of diagnosing patients is also universal. A dental professional can’t diagnose a patient by examining a single piece of information. Rather, he or she must analyze all the available information to form a “probable” diagnosis. According to the AAE, this process should go as follows:
- Medical/dental history – past/recent treatment, drugs
- Chief complaint (if any) – How long, symptoms, duration of pain, location, onset, stimuli, relief, referred medications
- Clinical exam – Facial symmetry, sinus tract, soft tissue, periodontal status (probing, mobility), caries, restorations (defective, newly placed?)
- Clinical testing:
- Pulp tests – Cold, electric pulp test, heat
- Periapical tests – Percussion, palpation, Tooth Slooth (biting)
- Radiographic analysis – New periapicals (at least 2), bitewing, cone beam-computed tomography
- Additional tests – Transillumination, selective anesthesia, test cavity
By adhering to the AAE’s diagnostic procedure, dentists and endodontists can avoid confusion during patient referrals minimizing the possibility of a misdiagnosis and/or improper treatment.
Let us Help you!
Dentists that partner with endodontic practices like Professional Endodontics see numerous benefits. The reality is that dentists experience a high volume of patients with needs varying from a simple cleaning to complex dental surgery. Trying to balance the heavy traffic of routine cleanings with the detail-oriented and time consuming task of diagnosing more serious dental problems can become overwhelming. In some cases, rushing the diagnosis can be the cause behind improper treatment. By passing the diagnostic process on to an endodontist, dentists can feel relieved knowing that the case will be given the necessary attention. So, contact Professional Endodontics and speak with our talented and friendly staff about developing a partnership.
About Professional Endodontics
Professional Endodontics has been exceeding the standard of care in Wayne and Macomb counties for over 50 years. The team specializes with treating issues with the inside of the tooth and goes out of its way to provide a safe easy environment for patients. Each member of the practice is dedicated to providing excellence in patient care and values high-quality relationships with referring dentists and specialists. Each endodontist at Professional Endodontics has been individually chosen as Best Dentists. Thanks to contemporary advances in endodontics, Professional Endodontics is able to use innovative technology to treat and save teeth that have suffered damage to the soft tissue within the roots of the tooth.
Professional Endodontics now offers three state-of-the art facilities in Clinton Township, St. Clair Shores, and a fully renovated Southfield location in the Comerica Tower. All locations offer the latest in advanced dental deliver systems, microscopy, and digital radiography.
29201 Telegraph Road
Southfield, MI 48034